Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Aug 2021 16:28

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
07 Aug 2021 10:02
Isn't that completely dependent on your omniscient hindsight? Did the Allies get that judgement exactly right in 1944/45 or were they still producing bombers, tanks, etc which were designed for European theatre of operations rather than the Far East?
Indeed and the answer to the question, at least with regards to tanks, was a resounding yes, they got it at least somewhat wrong. The unilateral American decision to rationalize and cut back tank production was nearly disastrous. Combined with the British decision in 1942-1943 to rely on American tank production it left the British Army almost entirely dependent on existing stocks and an insufficient number of tanks suitable for the conversion to Sherman 17-pdr. For the Americans, it left them dependent on obsolescent models and a decreasing stream of the most modern ones, precisely at the point when they went into combat with the strongest concentration of German tank and antitank capability. Similar problems occurred because of similar misguided decisions made in 1943 based on the notion that "we won the war, so now we have to prepare for peace".
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 07 Aug 2021 18:00

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Aug 2021 01:01
Slightly smaller? I guess I'm confused as usual by the shifting goalposts. My understanding was that after the Soviet Union collapses for unexplained reasons, the Germans reduce the Heer to "~100 active divs to defend beaches" - I'm pretty sure I quoted that correctly. Since we are talking sometime in 1942-1944 I simply gave some illustrations of the problematic nature of the assumptions.

[...]

Uh-huh, but you're simply repeating the same error. A reduction of divisions in the Feldheer would be unlikely to result in a proportional reduction in the strength of the Wehrmacht - TMP's error - or of the Heer as a whole - the error you now appear to be making. The administrative infrastructure of the Heer embodied - mostly - in the Ersatzheer is unlikely to reduce significantly, especially given that it must be able to reconstitute those divisions in the eventuality the Allies land in Europe, which is a likely contingency given there is only "~100 active divs to defend beaches".
The manpower of the administrative infrastructure operating as part of the Ersatzheer is the crux of the matter. Fortunately, we have the data:

Image

Sources: 1943, 1944

After Barbarossa, most of the Ersatzheer was made up of recruits in training, replacements and the sick and wounded. The administrative apparatus, understood widely and including Landesschützen, peaked at slightly over 700,000 men.
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Aug 2021 01:01
I don't know how to tell you this, but your 1939 "reference" is circular - it takes us back to your post here. :D
Are you sure? It is linked to TMP's post 466 on this thread, i.e. it sends to the top of the page and refers to DIAGRAM III.IV.3, the latter sourced from GSWW.
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Aug 2021 01:01
No, sorry, but "quadrupling air strength" would require an extensive expansion of the grossly inadequate Luftwaffe aircrew training system.
Obviously. As it relates to manpower, my point is simply that it wouldn't require sending an additional 2.5 million plus men to the Luftwaffe to quadruple air strength.
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Aug 2021 01:01
Given that the idea seems to be to meet or exceed the American expansion, then it seems reasonable that the American infrastructure would be a good analog. Like gasoline...on the order of 6-billion gallons - just under 194-million metric tons - consumed in the Z/I, much of it for training, from January 1942-August 1945.
How did you arrive at a figure of 194 million metric tons? Total U.S. avgas production, sourced from Official Munitions Production of the United States (p. 315), amounted to 420,408,000 barrels for 1/1942 - 8/1945. At 42 gallons a barrel and 6.152 pounds a gallon, I get a total output of 49.3 million metric tons of avgas for the period.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 07 Aug 2021 20:39

glenn239 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 14:24
The premise that winning a war against the SU allows Germany to increase its Luftwaffe effort in the west to me is not correct. Tooze is explicit that in 1940 the Germans had a choice between no invasion and ramping up the Luftwaffe, or an invasion of the USSR and trying to 'stagger step' industry towards an aerial war during or after the completion of the war in the east. A 'stagger step' was a serious compromise on expanding the Luftwaffe no matter how one slices it, so invading the USSR was completely the wrong strategy if the point was to build up the air force. (For an air war against the US, Hitler needed a strong friendly USSR as a supply and manufacturing source. Barbarossa killed that too).
I agree that a more straightforward path to promptly build up Luftwaffe strength would have been to forgo attacking the USSR. This, however, would have amounted to bet Germany's survival on continued Soviet goodwill. Although I am skeptical of claims the Stalin had by 1940-1 settled on eventually joining the war against Germany, keeping the peace with the Soviets still strikes me as a significant gamble. Then again so was Barbarossa, especially given the half-assed manner in which it was planned and prosecuted.

But then TMP's core argument is precisely that Barbarossa's deficient planning and preparations constituted Germany's crucial mistake. Having looked at the evidence he has presented in various threads, I find his argument convincing and well-supported by the data.

I would add one qualifier: even with proper preparations, the success of the invasion would have been contingent on the Soviets themselves failing, as historically, to properly plan and prepare for war with Germany. I have a hard time envisioning the Germans having definite success against a properly mobilized RKKA.
glenn239 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 14:24
Hitler had several choices in 1940 and he picked the worst one, by far. Invading the USSR was an automatic loss of the war precisely because the Germans would require decades to reorganize resources in the East, whereas they would have only years.
I must disagree with this. The Germans didn't need to fully reorganize the East: the resources of Europe, plus the compulsory conscription of Soviet workers as well as the rehabilitation of select elements of Soviet industry, would have been sufficient to bring the German war-economy to a level unparalleled historically.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 07 Aug 2021 21:19

KDF33 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 20:39
glenn239 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 14:24
The premise that winning a war against the SU allows Germany to increase its Luftwaffe effort in the west to me is not correct. Tooze is explicit that in 1940 the Germans had a choice between no invasion and ramping up the Luftwaffe, or an invasion of the USSR and trying to 'stagger step' industry towards an aerial war during or after the completion of the war in the east. A 'stagger step' was a serious compromise on expanding the Luftwaffe no matter how one slices it, so invading the USSR was completely the wrong strategy if the point was to build up the air force. (For an air war against the US, Hitler needed a strong friendly USSR as a supply and manufacturing source. Barbarossa killed that too).
keeping the peace with the Soviets still strikes me as a significant gamble.
On the contrary, this is the natural order on the Old Continent.

The traditional meaning of peace in Europe is not that "you can't exist if others exist". These ideas of total victory, existential war and final solution are completely foreign to the European diplomatic and warmaking traditions. Peace in Europe means a balance of power, in which no one can dominate.
The Brits don't have a competitive army. The Russians don't have a competitive navy. The Germans don't have resources. The French don't have friends. The Habsburgs don't have internal unity. The Italians cannot afford to fight. The Dutch don't have defensible borders. The Spanish are not modernized. Traditional peace in Europe means that everyone brings something to the negotiating table, even the defeated nations; otherwise victory quickly turns into defeat during the following peace. The Brits have a navy and a sea border. The Russians have the largest army. The Germans are the most industrious. The French are the jack of all trades. The Habsburgs have countless children. The Italians show the rest how to enjoy peace. The Dutch are very open in trade. The Spanish don't go east of the Pyrenees.

The very idea that it is a "significant gamble" to let others exist is the reason why the Germans were defeated in the way they were. Germany could not accept that it does not dominate the continent, and that was their downfall. There is no scenario where a German, French, Austrian, Russian, British, etc. dominated Europe could exist on a permanent basis. Look at what happened with the Soviet Union; it has never been defeated on the battlefield, yet it ceased to exist. In every 5-10 years, they had to employ military power to suppress rebellions, in which essentially unarmed people charged heavy tanks, so unpopular were they as early as 1953-1956.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 07 Aug 2021 21:58

Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:19
On the contrary, this is the natural order on the Old Continent.
I don't know if 'natural orders' exist in geopolitics. Certainly, the preservation of a balance-of-power in Europe had succeeded over the preceding few centuries. But Hitler shattered the continental balance by defeating France. From the summer of 1940 on, the 'game' was global and much simplified: on one side stood Germany, Italy and Japan, and on the other the British Empire and, in an ever-increasing capacity, the United States.

The only remaining 'wild card' was the Soviet Union. It had been Germany's ideological enemy until the August pact, and indeed both sides had fought each other by proxy in Spain. In the Far East, it had directly fought an undeclared border war with Japan. Although a more cooperative relationship had recently been established, trust remained low.

If Germany kept the peace with the USSR, it would be at the latter's mercy if the U.S. joined Britain as an active belligerent, a prospect that was already discernible at the time, and indeed that Hitler explicitly referred to. Now this might have worked out - after all, why would Stalin have wanted the Axis destroyed, just to then stand alone in an Anglo-American world? But then again, Stalin would have been wary of a negotiated peace leaving him squeezed between a German Europe and a Japanese East Asia.

Even a shrewd, deliberate statesman would have been concerned with leaving his nation's destiny in the hands of the Soviets. It might have been the better option, but it would still have been a gamble. Given Hitler's pathologies, it should have been obvious which gamble he would ultimately prefer.
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:19
The very idea that it is a "significant gamble" to let others exist is the reason why the Germans were defeated in the way they were.
To be clear, that is not the gamble I am referring to. By the summer of 1940, Germany's actions meant that the only remaining diplomatic question was whether Stalin would in the end prefer Anglo-American victory, and consequent U.S. influence over Eurasia, or a more fragmented international order, with continued German hegemony over continental Europe.

Hitler proved unwilling to find out.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 07 Aug 2021 22:32

KDF33 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:58
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:19
On the contrary, this is the natural order on the Old Continent.
I don't know if 'natural orders' exist in geopolitics. Certainly, the preservation of a balance-of-power in Europe had succeeded over the preceding few centuries. But Hitler shattered the continental balance by defeating France.
This is not really so. Germans and French defeated each other every 50 years, and the balance of power did remain. Germany defeated France in 1870 and still, the continental balance was not shattered. It slightly tilted to Germany's favor.

The wars and the treaties that destroyed the balance of power in Europe happened from 1912 to 1920.
KDF33 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:58
From the summer of 1940 on, the 'game' was global and much simplified: on one side stood Germany, Italy and Japan, and on the other the British Empire and, in an ever-increasing capacity, the United States.
Maybe on military terms, but war, in the end, has to be an act of politics. Germany could not send 70% of Europe, 95% of Africa, etc. to gas chambers. With such premises, no "victory" is possible.
KDF33 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:58
The only remaining 'wild card' was the Soviet Union. It had been Germany's ideological enemy until the August pact, and indeed both sides had fought each other by proxy in Spain. In the Far East, it had directly fought an undeclared border war with Japan. Although a more cooperative relationship had recently been established, trust remained low.

If Germany kept the peace with the USSR, it would be at the latter's mercy if the U.S. joined Britain as an active belligerent, a prospect that was already discernible at the time, and indeed that Hitler explicitly referred to. Now this might have worked out - after all, why would Stalin have wanted the Axis destroyed, just to then stand alone in an Anglo-American world? But then again, Stalin would have been wary of a negotiated peace leaving him squeezed between a German Europe and a Japanese East Asia.
A Japanese East Asia is impossible. Again, the Japanese could not kill everyone at one stroke from China through Indochina to Papua New Guinea.
KDF33 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:58
Even a shrewd, deliberate statesman would have been concerned with leaving his nation's destiny in the hands of the Soviets. It might have been the better option, but it would still have been a gamble. Given Hitler's pathologies, it should have been obvious which gamble he would ultimately prefer.
The Germans' fate was not in Soviet hands. This is pure hindsight. Ultimately, the Soviets' fate was in American hands. But America's fate was in its allies' hands. Great powers check each other and balance each other just as powers in Europe.
KDF33 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:58
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 21:19
The very idea that it is a "significant gamble" to let others exist is the reason why the Germans were defeated in the way they were.
To be clear, that is not the gamble I am referring to. By the summer of 1940, Germany's actions meant that the only remaining diplomatic question was whether Stalin would in the end prefer Anglo-American victory, and consequent U.S. influence over Eurasia, or a more fragmented international order, with continued German hegemony over continental Europe.

Hitler proved unwilling to find out.
Stalin preferred a Soviet victory, which he got. But, because he overplayed his hand, and extended his influence, the Soviets lost the peace. What you are arguing here is this: Hitler preferred a German victory, and if he was strong militarily, the wallies and the Soviets let Germany rule the continent and oppress nations. Fine. They divide the French, etc. See what happened to the Soviet effort to dominate Europe, when they divided Germany and oppressed nations: Germany is united, the influence of Moscow is back behind the Brest-Litovsk border and the country is economically weaker than Italy.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 08 Aug 2021 03:56

Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
This is not really so. Germans and French defeated each other every 50 years, and the balance of power did remain. Germany defeated France in 1870 and still, the continental balance was not shattered. It slightly tilted to Germany's favor.
This analogy is flawed. In 1870, Prussia was but one of a half-dozen European powers, in a continent where the U.K. was still industrially dominant. The defeat of France was a limited war that led to minimal territorial and population gains for the new Germany. It was also a war declared by France, Prussian provocations notwithstanding.

In 1940, the French defeat led to the elimination of the last continental counterweight to Germany, as well as induced Italy to join the war as an adjunct of the Reich. It gave Berlin control over demographic and industrial resources that transformed it overnight into a prospective rival to the United States.
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
The wars and the treaties that destroyed the balance of power in Europe happened from 1912 to 1920.
I don't see how. I would argue that the balance was shattered (1) by the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement and (2) by the defeat of France. The refusal of Britain to maintain a peacetime army in any way proportional to its underlying strength didn't help, either.
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
Maybe on military terms, but war, in the end, has to be an act of politics. Germany could not send 70% of Europe, 95% of Africa, etc. to gas chambers. With such premises, no "victory" is possible.
Whose premises are these? I am unaware that the Germans planned to depopulate Europe and exterminate the people of Africa. Hitler's genocidal intent seems to have been limited to the East: Poland, the Western Soviet Union, and in more geographically widespread, if numerically more limited terms, the Jewish and Romani people who had the misfortune to fall in his grasp.
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
A Japanese East Asia is impossible. Again, the Japanese could not kill everyone at one stroke from China through Indochina to Papua New Guinea.
Again, who ever said anything about exterminating the people of Asia? The Japanese were certainly brutal, but their aims were empire, not depopulation. When I write of a Japanese East Asia, I obviously mean one dominated by the Japanese, not one where only ethnic Japanese are still alive.
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
The Germans' fate was not in Soviet hands. This is pure hindsight. Ultimately, the Soviets' fate was in American hands. But America's fate was in its allies' hands. Great powers check each other and balance each other just as powers in Europe.
No, it isn't hindsight. In a world where there exist only 6 great powers, and where three of them (Germany, Italy, Japan) are aligned against two other (Britain and the U.S.), then obviously the sixth (the USSR) can play the role of tie-breaker. By keeping the peace with the Soviets, Hitler would have implicitly bet on Stalin choosing either not to break the tie, or to break it in his favor - hence the gamble.
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
Stalin preferred a Soviet victory, which he got.
Obviously, after Hitler attacked him Stalin's preferences crystallized. The point is that, prior to Barbarossa, Soviet preferences and choices were the decisive wild cards of the conflict.
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
But, because he overplayed his hand, and extended his influence, the Soviets lost the peace.
Did they? Isn't this drawing too straight a line between 1945 and 1989/1991?
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
What you are arguing here is this: Hitler preferred a German victory, and if he was strong militarily, the wallies and the Soviets let Germany rule the continent and oppress nations.
No. What I am arguing is that, had Hitler kept the peace, his ability to maintain German hegemony in Europe would have entirely depended on Stalin preferring the former over the destruction of Germany and, hence, U.S. international dominance.
Peter89 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 22:32
See what happened to the Soviet effort to dominate Europe, when they divided Germany and oppressed nations: Germany is united, the influence of Moscow is back behind the Brest-Litovsk border and the country is economically weaker than Italy.
I find this to be far too deterministic. History leaves room for contingency, and the dissolution of the USSR had a lot to do with Gorbachev's idiosyncrasies. Just like WW2, I would argue, had a lot to do with Hitler's.

As for Russia and Italy, this is a trope that needs to die. Expressed in PPP, Italy's economy is only 60% that of Russia.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Aug 2021 05:17

glenn239 wrote:For an air war against the US, Hitler needed a strong friendly USSR as a supply and manufacturing source. Barbarossa killed that too
KDF33 wrote:I must disagree with this. The Germans didn't need to fully reorganize the East: the resources of Europe, plus the compulsory conscription of Soviet workers as well as the rehabilitation of select elements of Soviet industry, would have been sufficient to bring the German war-economy to a level unparalleled historically.
KDF already makes the main point: Soviet workers "recruited" to Germany. Let me say a bit more.

Soviet workforce in industry+transport+construction totaled 10.06mil in 1942:

Image
Source: Accounting for War, Mark Harrsion

I've stipulated 7.5mil additional ATL workers "recruited" to Greater Germany; that's already 75% of the SU's total industrial(+) workforce. This number could be substantially higher because the primary bottleneck in profitably employing unskilled foreigners was having enough skilled Germans to supervise them. As discussed upthread, we have something in the area of 5-7mil more German workers so that's no longer a problem.

What's more, Soviet workers were probably more productive in Germany - even under harsh conditions - than they were under Soviet management. To explain why, let's look at overall Soviet industrial productivity versus German. Here I'll use 1943 for comparison.

Comparative physical quantities of industrial goods.

This table from Accounting for War will be the Soviet source unless otherwise noted.

Steel
Germany: 30.6mil tons
USSR: 8.48mil tons
Germany/USSR ratio:
Sources: Germany

Coal
Germany: 347.6mil tons
USSR: 93.14mil tons
Germany/USSR ratio: 3.7:1
Source: Germany

Aluminum
Germany: 354k tons
USSR: 62.2k tons
Germany/USSR ratio: 5.7:1
Source

Electricity
Germany: 47,300 MW-h
USSR: 32,228 MW-h
Germany/USSR ratio: 1.47:1
Source

Armaments

This is the only area where German and Soviet production were roughly equal in 1943, per Goldsmith's very rough estimate. While armaments were obviously important, they represented only ~20% of German GDP in 1943 [See Tooze Statistics and the German State]. Soviet armaments factories underwent their own "production miracle" during WW2 and might have been as productive as Germany's. Still, even for the SU armaments were only ~33% of defense expenditure, therefore ~19% of GDP [for calculation of defense as % of GDP, see Harrison's table here - "hypothetical" table excluding Lend Lease].

Oil is a domain of superior Soviet productivity but that owes to geography rather than economic fundamentals. In any case, ATL Germany would possess Soviet oil deposits.

-----------------------------------

In the (non-armaments) fields doing the vast bulk of value creation, Greater Germany produced multiples of Soviet output with a workforce only ~36% larger (14.7mil vs. 10.8mil). Among other factors, Lend Lease enabled the Soviets import much of their capital and basic materials requirements.

It's beyond the scope of this post to estimate Soviet:German total industrial(+) productivity; suffice it to say German was significantly higher in 1943 even with much of the workforce being unskilled, half-starved foreigners.

----------------------------

So how did the productivity of Soviet zwangsarbeiter compare to German? The data varies across occupations and fields but 70-80% of German productivity seems ballpark accurate. From Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany by Homze:

Image

As you can see, female forced workers were more productive than male - multiple sources attest to this.

Regardless of whether the productivity ratio is 70% of 80%, there's little doubt that Soviet zwangsarbeiter were at least as productive working for Germany as they would have been working the SU.

------------------------------------------------------

But that's not all...

As I've discussed elsewhere, Germany got ~20% of its domestic calorie supply from the SU in 1942-43. I often get an obviously bad response to this argument: most of that food was eaten by Ostheer. While that's true it's an obviously bad point because it supposes that Germany would simply have given back its looted food had Ostheer not been nearby. Clearly they wouldn't have - that food would have been sent to German soldiers or workers elsewhere. ATL Germany gets at least twice as much food from the occupied SU.

In addition, it is true but simplistic to state that Germany got little industrial output from the occupied SU. After Barbarossa failed, Germany began the "Iwan Program" to rebuild Ukrainian industry. The fruits of this investment were very near to coming online when Germany lost in latter '43 the Dniepr-Donets industrial regions in which Iwan operated. Iwan factories were to produce, among other things, ~12,000 tonnes of ammunition monthly by late '43.

ATL Germany institutes the Iwan Program in 1941 because Barbarossa isn't a quick smash-and-grab. From Rolf-Dieter Mueller's Enemy in the East, here's some background on Hitler's thinking pre-/post-Moscow and the failure of Barbarossa:
for Hitler, the initial priority was to fill the Reich commissar posts with
uncompromising party officials or Gauleiters whose ‘pistols sat lightly’ and
who could promise to plunder the territories under their control with total
ruthlessness. All the new order’s other political, racial and resettlement
objectives, which were so important to Rosenberg, were secondary
considerations for Hitler. But because Rosenberg, like the military, counted
on the collaboration of the non-Russian minorities, particularly the
Ukrainians, he was involved in some fragmentary coalitions of interest that
attempted – albeit only after the blitzkrieg had failed – to persuade Hitler to
accept some modifications to this plan. These concerned the agricultural
majority and dissolution of the collective farms, efforts towards an at least
partial reconstruction of the economy, food supplies for the civilian
population, the deployment of prisoners of war and volunteers (Hiwis) as a
labour force
and the mustering of local military units.
In March 1941, Hitler was not interested.
...so again OTL Hitler has a short-war strategy and therefore short-war emphasis on smash-and-grab. The Nazi/Wehrmacht hierarchy, however, contained many who viewed economic reconstruction and partial enlistment of ethnic minorities a good idea. ATL Hitler listens to these groups and something the Iwan Program begins in 1941, coming online in latter 1942.

Note also the concern to use PoW's as a labor force. OTL Barbarossa's farcical planning and logistics made no practical consideration for this (only nugatory theoretical consideration); ATL Barbarossa ensures that at least most Soviet PoW's are sufficiently healthy to work (this would not have been hard, which is why failure to so was reckless homicide).

------------------------------------------------------

In summary, Germany could have captured most of OTL Soviet armaments production simply by stealing workers. ATL Germany would also have rebuilt at least partially the economy of at least Ukraine and would have derived enormous benefits from it.

The argument that Germany got nothing economically from Barbarossa is wrong as a matter of historical fact, is simplistic regarding why industrial output was so low, and is entirely inapplicable to ATL conditions involving a minimally competent Barbarossa.

As with everything Barbarossa, most commentary on economic exploitation fails to connect Barbarossa's planning and outcomes. In any other analytical field this would be flagrant incompetence; re Barbarossa it's standard.

TMP bookmark: ATL economic exploitation of the SU
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Aug 2021 05:28

KDF33 wrote:Again, who ever said anything about exterminating the people of Asia? The Japanese were certainly brutal, but their aims were empire, not depopulation. When I write of a Japanese East Asia, I obviously mean one dominated by the Japanese, not one where only ethnic Japanese are still alive.
You're responding to a post full of superficial myths; this is one of the worst. Japan's prewar Empire contained millions of Chinese and Koreans who, by 1941, were providing negligible resistance to Japanese rule and producing massively for the Emperor (Manchukuo especially).

In China, Wang Jiangwei's Chinese Collaborationist Army number 683,000. Japan set up, and would grant independence to, a new Philippine government. Thailand was an ally.

The argument that Japan was ejecting brutal Western colonialists was a damn good one and even Japan's stupid/brutal policies never entirely erased its appeal.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Aug 2021 05:57

KDF33 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 18:00

Sources: 1943, 1944
Thanks for these. What's the context for the 1944 document? I'd like to read the broader document and maybe the thread in which posted.
KDF33 wrote:Obviously. As it relates to manpower, my point is simply that it wouldn't require sending an additional 2.5 million plus men to the Luftwaffe to quadruple air strength.
KDF33 wrote:Total U.S. avgas production
TMP: ATL would quadruple the LW training establishment and give it more fuel, inc. from SU.
AHF: Well the US used X fuel and X trainers.
TMP: Ok what's your point?

This is interminably raised on AHF for no discernible reason. An argument that LW could have knocked down >4x OTL's heavy bombers with >4x the planes and pilots in no way relies on comparing LW and US training or fuel regimes.

It is simply irrelevant, simply obfuscation.
KDF33 wrote:I would add one qualifier: even with proper preparations, the success of the invasion would have been contingent on the Soviets themselves failing, as historically, to properly plan and prepare for war with Germany. I have a hard time envisioning the Germans having definite success against a properly mobilized RKKA.
Depending on the scale of preparation I completely agree. If we specify an SU on total war footing since Sept. '39 it's hard to see even optimal Wehrmacht and war economy enabling the Germans to make fast progress against RKKA and probably impossible to see them beating SU before the West gets involved.

We shouldn't underestimate the SU's preparedness, however. By early '41 it was at least equaling German armaments output and had the largest peacetime army in history up to then.

The problem with specifying a maximally-ready SU is that it changes the strategic picture: A non-deluded Hitler changes his strategy. He could, for example, defeat the SU last instead of first. By that I mean he realizes the SU is too strong to beat while at war with the West, so he accedes to something like Molotov's November '40 demands (Turkey, Bulgaria, Finland) and the SU joins the Tripartite Pact. The four continental powers easily win the ensuing war along multiple possible paths. US is deterred from entering (and from provoking Japan), for example, and Britain makes peace to deal with Soviet armies threatening the MidEast from Turkey. Or there's a war between the Anglosphere and everyone else that doesn't go well for the Anglos.

After the 4-power alliance wins, Axis can fight the SU singly. It's highly improbable that Anglo-American polities would be roused for another global war to defend a now-super-evil SU that had just warred on them.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 08 Aug 2021 06:26

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Aug 2021 05:57
Thanks for these. What's the context for the 1944 document? I'd like to read the broader document and maybe the thread in which posted.
My pleasure. It comes from this thread.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Aug 2021 19:08

KDF33 wrote:
07 Aug 2021 18:00
The manpower of the administrative infrastructure operating as part of the Ersatzheer is the crux of the matter. Fortunately, we have the data:

Image

Sources: 1943, 1944
Indeed, We also have it, somewhat more precisely broken down, for c. 1 February 1944 (RW4/489 BdE/Tr.Abt.II a 145/44, 12.2.44):

Fixed installations and administration: 342,962
LS and other security troops: 306,701
Replacement Training Staff: 323,251
Medical Personnel: 85,882
Wounded and sick in hospital: 628,211
Genesene in Genesene units (i.e., ready for service): 258,401
Genesene (not ready for service): 182,000
Ersatz (completing training): 541,000
Ersatz (sick in hospital): 129,000
Ersatz (in schools or imprisoned): 88,000
Ersatz for 21. Welle (called up November 1943, 349., 352., 353., 357., 359., 361.-364., 367. Infanterie-Division): 20,000

Note the first four are more or less fixed rather than fungible. They total 1,058,796. Genesene make up another 440,401. Ersatz 760,000. Notice also that 17% of Ersatz are sick in hospital; the Heer (and Wehrmacht as a whole) had a major problem controlling illness. On December 1943, the Feldheer reported 261,393 sick, in February 1944 there were 268,150 sick. While the numbers evacuated to the Ersatzheer was not recorded in those months, in September 1943 they were. Then, of 246,721 cases sick in the Feldheer, 61,000 were evacuated sick from the Ostheer to the Erstazheer. Worse, 14,547 sick were discharged as unfit for further service.
After Barbarossa, most of the Ersatzheer was made up of recruits in training, replacements and the sick and wounded. The administrative apparatus, understood widely and including Landesschützen, peaked at slightly over 700,000 men.
Before BARBAROSSA the Ersatzheer was c. 965,000 1 September 1939, a year later it decreased to 900,000, mostly due to the incorporation of some E.u.A. units into the field forces, which were later returned to the Ersatzheer. By BARBAROSSA it grew to 1.2-million, then 1.8-million in 1942, 2.3-million in 1943, and then 2.5-million in 1944. Anyway, we have a figure of 1,058,796 for February 1944, so I suspect the peak was somewhat more than 700,000. :D The figures for wounded will reduce of course, but some large fraction of illness will remain. So reducing the Feldheer divisional numbers by half is unlikely to "save" more than 500,000-600,000.
Are you sure? It is linked to TMP's post 466 on this thread, i.e. it sends to the top of the page and refers to DIAGRAM III.IV.3, the latter sourced from GSWW.
Odd...never mind, I see what happened. Since it linked to a TMP post and since I have him blocked, I thought it was taking me to your post 467.
Obviously. As it relates to manpower, my point is simply that it wouldn't require sending an additional 2.5 million plus men to the Luftwaffe to quadruple air strength.
No, obviously not, yet again demonstrating the problems with evaluating such changes from gross personnel figures. Again though, since we are looking at matching or exceeding the USAAF, the comparable figures might help. There, peak personnel strength was 31 March 1944 with a total of 2,411,294. That of course included all USAAC personnel as well as all ASF units assigned to the USAAF, so the administrative, training, and flying establishments with its assorted service support units. For example, on the same date, of those total USAAF personnel, 306,889 were officers of whom 255,556 were AAC, so, at least in theory "air crew". Similarly, of 2,104,405 enlisted personnel, 1,627,107 were AAC. Thus, 1,882,663 were AAC and for all intents and purposes "flying" personnel. Using your figure of 262,000 Luftwaffe flying personnel and support, I suspect at least 1.3 to 1.4 million would be required for the Luftwaffe expansion, especially given that in the USAAF "airfield support" was a role taken in large part by ASF rather than AAC personnel.
How did you arrive at a figure of 194 million metric tons?
Sorry, I dropped a decimal and used an imprecise conversion factor. There is c. 1,408.45 liters of AVGAS to 1 metric ton. 3.785411784 liters per gallon. 6-billion gallons = 22,712,470,704 liters = 16,125,862 metric tons.
Total U.S. avgas production, sourced from Official Munitions Production of the United States (p. 315), amounted to 420,408,000 barrels for 1/1942 - 8/1945. At 42 gallons a barrel and 6.152 pounds a gallon, I get a total output of 49.3 million metric tons of avgas for the period.
I get 420,408,000 barrels X 42 gallons = 17,657,136,000 gallons X 3.785411784 liters/1,408.45 liters = 47,456,091 metric tons. German production of AVGAS 1940-1945 was 6,370,000 metric tons, so they would require c. seven times their actual production.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

KDF33
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 08 Aug 2021 21:46

Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Aug 2021 19:08
Indeed, We also have it, somewhat more precisely broken down, for c. 1 February 1944 (RW4/489 BdE/Tr.Abt.II a 145/44, 12.2.44):

Fixed installations and administration: 342,962
LS and other security troops: 306,701
Replacement Training Staff: 323,251
Medical Personnel: 85,882
Wounded and sick in hospital: 628,211
Genesene in Genesene units (i.e., ready for service): 258,401
Genesene (not ready for service): 182,000
Ersatz (completing training): 541,000
Ersatz (sick in hospital): 129,000
Ersatz (in schools or imprisoned): 88,000
Ersatz for 21. Welle (called up November 1943, 349., 352., 353., 357., 359., 361.-364., 367. Infanterie-Division): 20,000
That's amazing detail! Thank you for sharing it.

One observation, though: most of the figures are identical to those dated 12/1/1943. Is it possible that the February report shows figures for the previous December?
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Aug 2021 19:08
Note the first four are more or less fixed rather than fungible. They total 1,058,796.
I agree with this as it pertains to administration (342,962) and Landesschützen (306,701). Training staff (323,251) and medical personnel (85,882) appear more fungible, according to the flow of recruits and casualties.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Aug 2021 19:08
Anyway, we have a figure of 1,058,796 for February 1944, so I suspect the peak was somewhat more than 700,000.
Agreed. My tabulation missed the 323,251 training staff, which my source subsumed with Genesene and Ersatz personnel.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Aug 2021 19:08
The figures for wounded will reduce of course, but some large fraction of illness will remain.
Some sick would remain, although I wonder how much sickness cases increased due to the grueling conditions the Feldheer operated under after 6/21/1941. Do you have figures for the number of hospitalized sick prior to Barbarossa?
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Aug 2021 19:08
So reducing the Feldheer divisional numbers by half is unlikely to "save" more than 500,000-600,000.
Looking at the figures for February 1944 (December 1943?), with victory over the Soviets I could envision the following Ersatzheer establishment:

Image
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Aug 2021 19:08
Again though, since we are looking at matching or exceeding the USAAF, the comparable figures might help.
I would agree with that - although I think the USAAF air component at its peak might have been more than four times as large as that of the Luftwaffe in 1941.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Aug 2021 19:08
Using your figure of 262,000 Luftwaffe flying personnel and support, I suspect at least 1.3 to 1.4 million would be required for the Luftwaffe expansion, especially given that in the USAAF "airfield support" was a role taken in large part by ASF rather than AAC personnel.
We are largely in agreement, then, give or take a few 100,000s. In the previous post, I wrote of ~1 million additional men for flying personnel and support (including supply), giving a total in the same range as yours.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Aug 2021 19:08
I get 420,408,000 barrels X 42 gallons = 17,657,136,000 gallons X 3.785411784 liters/1,408.45 liters = 47,456,091 metric tons. German production of AVGAS 1940-1945 was 6,370,000 metric tons, so they would require c. seven times their actual production.
Here again we roughly arrive at the same figure. I also agree that German fuel supply expansion would have been necessary. As I see it, the best strategy for the Germans would have been to allocate a large share of their additional manpower to expanding coal output, railway capacity, and the scale of the hydrogenation industry, with a secondary objective of integrating the Caucasus oil fields into the Grossraum.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Aug 2021 00:04

KDF33 wrote:
08 Aug 2021 21:46
That's amazing detail! Thank you for sharing it.

One observation, though: most of the figures are identical to those dated 12/1/1943. Is it possible that the February report shows figures for the previous December?
That of course is possible. Many of the original planning documents can be problematic with regards to the dating as well as the numbers. Some are suspiciously rounded, while others are very precise. It can also be difficult to differentiate between planned and actual figures. In this case the date of the document is clear, 12 February 1944, but the exact date it refers to is unstated.
I agree with this as it pertains to administration (342,962) and Landesschützen (306,701). Training staff (323,251) and medical personnel (85,882) appear more fungible, according to the flow of recruits and casualties.
Possibly, but by this time the training staffs were mostly superannuated personnel rotated from the Feldheer and replaced by younger troops. Many were also unfit for front line service due to illness and wounds, so it may be doubted just how useful they would be if dispatched to work in heavy industry.
Agreed. My tabulation missed the 323,251 training staff, which my source subsumed with Genesene and Ersatz personnel.

Some sick would remain, although I wonder how much sickness cases increased due to the grueling conditions the Feldheer operated under after 6/21/1941. Do you have figures for the number of hospitalized sick prior to Barbarossa?
I don't have much pre-BARBAROSSA data. The bombing of the Potsdam archives during the war inconveniently destroyed many of the documents held dated before July 1941. On many of those still existing you find scorch and burn marks as well as smoke discoloration.

Anyway, overall, in 1944 the Heeres-Sanitätsinspekteur calculated that 6% of all reporting sick would be permanently lost to the Heer as dead, incapacitated, or otherwise unsuitable for service. Sickness was not necessarily an Ostfront issue due to the conditions there, but was rather endemic to the Wehrmacht on all fronts due to poor hygiene and preventative medicine.
Looking at the figures for February 1944 (December 1943?), with victory over the Soviets I could envision the following Ersatzheer establishment:

Image
Maybe. Or maybe not. One issue I've been forgetting to mention is the Fehl in the Feldheer. It would not make much sense to reduce it to "~100 active divs to defend beaches" if no attempt was made to bring those "~100 active divs to defend beaches" up to strength. Fehl for the Ostheer 1 October 1943 was 595,000, or c. 3,199 per division. The other 113 divisions in the Feldheer include the ten new 21, Welle ones, which were allocated 20,000 more personnel to complete them in February 1944 (or possibly December 1943). Another ten divisions added to the Field Army in October included 162.ID, raised with Turcoman volunteers but with German Stammpersonal, 1.Kosakken-Division, raised from Cossack volunteers, 6 Bodenst. ID (242., 243., 264., 265., 266., 274.), the Feldherrenhalle Pz.Gren.D., and 14.PzD. Dissolving the first two is unlikely to save anything, while the Bodenst. divisions were effectively half strength, meaning they had c. 48,000 Fehl; the remaining 93 divisions include at least half low-establishment ones...overall, it is likely the Feldheer total Fehl was in the 1-million range.
I would agree with that - although I think the USAAF at its peak might have been more than four times as large as the Luftwaffe in 1941.
Luftwaffe on hand/operational as of 21 June 1941 was 4,882/3,512 combat aircraft and 648/300 transport aircraft. There is no data for the training establishment.

USAAF on hand as of peak aircraft total on 31 July 1944 was 38,241 combat aircraft and 9,908 transports. A four-fold increase in the Luftwaffe would leave it less than half as strong as the USAAF.
We are largely in agreement, then, give or take a few 100,000s. In the previous post, I wrote of ~1 million additional men for flying personnel and support (including supply), giving a total in the same range as yours.
Yeah, but they need an eight-fold expansion of combat aircraft. And that does not include the USN or the RAF.
Here again we roughly arrive at the same figure. I also agree that German fuel supply expansion would have been necessary. As I see it, the best strategy for the Germans would have been to allocate a large share of their additional manpower to expanding coal output, railway capacity, and the scale of the hydrogenation industry, with a secondary objective of integrating the Caucasus oil fields into the Grossraum.
Yes, given they need an eight-fold increase in aircraft I suspect that over a seven-fold increase in AVGAS consumption would be reasonable. So the "only" thing remaining to do is an eight-fold increase in the hydrogenation program...simple, right? :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by pugsville » 09 Aug 2021 01:53

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Aug 2021 05:17
glenn239 wrote:For an air war against the US, Hitler needed a strong friendly USSR as a supply and manufacturing source. Barbarossa killed that too
KDF33 wrote:I must disagree with this. The Germans didn't need to fully reorganize the East: the resources of Europe, plus the compulsory conscription of Soviet workers as well as the rehabilitation of select elements of Soviet industry, would have been sufficient to bring the German war-economy to a level unparalleled historically.
KDF already makes the main point: Soviet workers "recruited" to Germany. Let me say a bit more.

Soviet workforce in industry+transport+construction totaled 10.06mil in 1942:

Image
Source: Accounting for War, Mark Harrsion

I've stipulated 7.5mil additional ATL workers "recruited" to Greater Germany; that's already 75% of the SU's total industrial(+) workforce. This number could be substantially higher because the primary bottleneck in profitably employing unskilled foreigners was having enough skilled Germans to supervise them. As discussed upthread, we have something in the area of 5-7mil more German workers so that's no longer a problem.

What's more, Soviet workers were probably more productive in Germany - even under harsh conditions - than they were under Soviet management. To explain why, let's look at overall Soviet industrial productivity versus German. Here I'll use 1943 for comparison.

Comparative physical quantities of industrial goods.

This table from Accounting for War will be the Soviet source unless otherwise noted.

Steel
Germany: 30.6mil tons
USSR: 8.48mil tons
Germany/USSR ratio:
Sources: Germany

Coal
Germany: 347.6mil tons
USSR: 93.14mil tons
Germany/USSR ratio: 3.7:1
Source: Germany

Aluminum
Germany: 354k tons
USSR: 62.2k tons
Germany/USSR ratio: 5.7:1
Source

Electricity
Germany: 47,300 MW-h
USSR: 32,228 MW-h
Germany/USSR ratio: 1.47:1
Source

Armaments

This is the only area where German and Soviet production were roughly equal in 1943, per Goldsmith's very rough estimate. While armaments were obviously important, they represented only ~20% of German GDP in 1943 [See Tooze Statistics and the German State]. Soviet armaments factories underwent their own "production miracle" during WW2 and might have been as productive as Germany's. Still, even for the SU armaments were only ~33% of defense expenditure, therefore ~19% of GDP [for calculation of defense as % of GDP, see Harrison's table here - "hypothetical" table excluding Lend Lease].

Oil is a domain of superior Soviet productivity but that owes to geography rather than economic fundamentals. In any case, ATL Germany would possess Soviet oil deposits.

-----------------------------------

In the (non-armaments) fields doing the vast bulk of value creation, Greater Germany produced multiples of Soviet output with a workforce only ~36% larger (14.7mil vs. 10.8mil). Among other factors, Lend Lease enabled the Soviets import much of their capital and basic materials requirements.

It's beyond the scope of this post to estimate Soviet:German total industrial(+) productivity; suffice it to say German was significantly higher in 1943 even with much of the workforce being unskilled, half-starved foreigners.

----------------------------

So how did the productivity of Soviet zwangsarbeiter compare to German? The data varies across occupations and fields but 70-80% of German productivity seems ballpark accurate. From Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany by Homze:

Image

As you can see, female forced workers were more productive than male - multiple sources attest to this.

Regardless of whether the productivity ratio is 70% of 80%, there's little doubt that Soviet zwangsarbeiter were at least as productive working for Germany as they would have been working the SU.

------------------------------------------------------

But that's not all...

As I've discussed elsewhere, Germany got ~20% of its domestic calorie supply from the SU in 1942-43. I often get an obviously bad response to this argument: most of that food was eaten by Ostheer. While that's true it's an obviously bad point because it supposes that Germany would simply have given back its looted food had Ostheer not been nearby. Clearly they wouldn't have - that food would have been sent to German soldiers or workers elsewhere. ATL Germany gets at least twice as much food from the occupied SU.

In addition, it is true but simplistic to state that Germany got little industrial output from the occupied SU. After Barbarossa failed, Germany began the "Iwan Program" to rebuild Ukrainian industry. The fruits of this investment were very near to coming online when Germany lost in latter '43 the Dniepr-Donets industrial regions in which Iwan operated. Iwan factories were to produce, among other things, ~12,000 tonnes of ammunition monthly by late '43.

ATL Germany institutes the Iwan Program in 1941 because Barbarossa isn't a quick smash-and-grab. From Rolf-Dieter Mueller's Enemy in the East, here's some background on Hitler's thinking pre-/post-Moscow and the failure of Barbarossa:
for Hitler, the initial priority was to fill the Reich commissar posts with
uncompromising party officials or Gauleiters whose ‘pistols sat lightly’ and
who could promise to plunder the territories under their control with total
ruthlessness. All the new order’s other political, racial and resettlement
objectives, which were so important to Rosenberg, were secondary
considerations for Hitler. But because Rosenberg, like the military, counted
on the collaboration of the non-Russian minorities, particularly the
Ukrainians, he was involved in some fragmentary coalitions of interest that
attempted – albeit only after the blitzkrieg had failed – to persuade Hitler to
accept some modifications to this plan. These concerned the agricultural
majority and dissolution of the collective farms, efforts towards an at least
partial reconstruction of the economy, food supplies for the civilian
population, the deployment of prisoners of war and volunteers (Hiwis) as a
labour force
and the mustering of local military units.
In March 1941, Hitler was not interested.
...so again OTL Hitler has a short-war strategy and therefore short-war emphasis on smash-and-grab. The Nazi/Wehrmacht hierarchy, however, contained many who viewed economic reconstruction and partial enlistment of ethnic minorities a good idea. ATL Hitler listens to these groups and something the Iwan Program begins in 1941, coming online in latter 1942.

Note also the concern to use PoW's as a labor force. OTL Barbarossa's farcical planning and logistics made no practical consideration for this (only nugatory theoretical consideration); ATL Barbarossa ensures that at least most Soviet PoW's are sufficiently healthy to work (this would not have been hard, which is why failure to so was reckless homicide).

------------------------------------------------------

In summary, Germany could have captured most of OTL Soviet armaments production simply by stealing workers. ATL Germany would also have rebuilt at least partially the economy of at least Ukraine and would have derived enormous benefits from it.

The argument that Germany got nothing economically from Barbarossa is wrong as a matter of historical fact, is simplistic regarding why industrial output was so low, and is entirely inapplicable to ATL conditions involving a minimally competent Barbarossa.

As with everything Barbarossa, most commentary on economic exploitation fails to connect Barbarossa's planning and outcomes. In any other analytical field this would be flagrant incompetence; re Barbarossa it's standard.

TMP bookmark: ATL economic exploitation of the SU
Have you read "The Mythical Man Month"?

The Idea you can just do stuff by throwing more bodies at the problem. You have to integrate the workers into German industry, there has to somewhere to sleep, food distribution, sopme one tio tell them what to do, someone to organize then, source in the factories etc,. There is finite rate at which workers can be integrated into the German economy, and it;s a sliding scale until adding more workers over stretch of time becomes totally counterproductive. It would take years.


Also German lacked the raw materials,.

The Germans also lacked the transport infrastructure, simply not enough trains. Lack of investment has seen the ystemn run down badly in the interwar period,

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